Former Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Marloes Coenen is looking forward to her rematch with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos this summer.
Needless to say, the Golden Glory fighter is expecting a different outcome this time around.
In an interview with BJPenn.com, "Rumina" explained that she felt her first fight with Santos in January 2010, which she lost by TKO in the third round, was stopped to early.
“Well you know, the first time my face was like jello after the fight, but I didn’t want to give up. We had a male referee and every fight after that my trainer would tell the ref up front don’t stop the fight [too] early cause Marloes can take a punch and she will not give up. I thought it was stopped to soon. Maybe it was because men [have] to get use to seeing women punch each other. Men want to protect women, I think that was part of it.”
After the loss, Coenen dropped down to bantamweight, posting a 2-1 record, including a title win over Sarah Kaufman in October 2010.
Her sole blemish during that span was a hard-fought submission loss to Miesha Tate, in which she also lost the Strikeforce bantamweight title, in July 2011.
Coenen is 2-0 in the Invicta Fighting Championships' featherweight division, which is why she will be battling Cyborg again for the promotion's inaugural 145-pound championship in July.
Coenen believes that Santos only won their first matchup because of steroids, something that will not play a factor the second time around.
“She looks more feminine now, I also think her strength is less and last time she really out powered me, so I think this time it will be a very interesting fight ... I already thought she was on something when I was fighting her for the first time. But then I was like Ah, whatever, I don’t care you know. But when I was actually in the cage I felt her power and was like Oh my god I never been hit this hard in my whole life. This time I don’t think she’s on the stuff anymore.”
Criticized for using performance-enhancing drugs for the majority of her mixed martial arts career, Santos failed a drug test for the first time in January 2012.
She tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol and was subsequently suspended from competition for one year and fined $2,500 by the California State Athletic Commission (via MMA Junkie).
After almost 16 months on the shelf, Santos returned to competition for her Invicta debut last month, scoring a dominant Round 1 TKO over Fiona Muxlow.
Will Coenen be able to pull off the upset at Invicta FC 6 or will Santos be able to prove PEDs had nothing to do with her first win?